Ukraine Allows Post Mortem Sperm Donation

A previous law in Ukraine required that any frozen sperm from a soldier killed in action had to be thrown away, but a new law changes that. Today, the Ukrainian parliament approved a proposal allowing sperm to be used from soldiers who die in action. One of the considerations in changing this proposal was the rising death toll of young men in the ongoing war with Russia. Additionally, the fertility rate is low and there are also millions of emigrants.

Because of this, demographics are a big consideration and one of the ways to increase the population is to allow frozen sperm to be used, even after a soldier has died. There was a law passed in December 2023 that required the government to begin paying for stored sperm and eggs from soldiers starting in 2025, but the same law also said that any stored material from those who had died soldiers must be thrown.

The law has now been amended to say that sperm samples will be kept for three years after the soldier’s death, and then there is an option to store these samples longer if the family wants to pay to do so . The health ministry supported this measure, which passed unanimously. Preserving the gene pool of the Ukrainian people is particularly important now, with so many soldiers lost to the Russian invasion.

Medical lawyer Alla Tsymanovska said that every person should have the right to continue their family, citing an Israeli law that allows the retrieval of sperm from dead soldiers. There will be more adjustments to the Civil Code in Ukraine over time, as the current powers of attorney used to allow one partner to use the other partner’s genetic material are invalid after death.

Additionally, children conceived with genetic material from a deceased donor cannot be the legal heirs of those parents. Both of those issues will likely be corrected in the future, as Ukraine works to change their laws and the best way to protect their citizens. It’s clear that using post-mortem sperm is a big step forward, though, for the continuity of families in that country.

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